Bringing a Scandinavian flavor to local holiday celebrations, the Southern CA Damekor performed its fourth annual Glade Jul concert at Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook on Dec. 19.
The six members of the ladies chorus entertained an audience of 41 friends, relatives, and guests. Three of the Damekor members live in Murrieta, Darcie and Lorian Dunlop and their daughter Ruth, while Lynne Bradley, Joy Cook and Pat Hensley live in Fallbrook and are members of Daughters of Norway Hulda Garborg Lodge. All have Norwegian or Swedish roots in their family trees.
They presented an ambitious program of 23 songs sung in English, Norwegian or Swedish. Besides those languages, some of the songs were originally written in Sicilian, Icelandic and Danish. The Fireside Room, with a roaring fire and a decorated Christmas tree, was the perfect setting for the concert which started in near darkness with the traditional “Sankta Lucia” procession.
Ruth, 11, wore a wreath of candles (battery operated) while they all carried lit candles into the room to add to the Christmas mood. Ruth has been singing with the Damekor for three years now, since she tried it and “found I was good at it.”
Even though most of us in the audience do not understand Norwegian or Swedish, and the choir sings in “Fallbrook Norwegian” according to Bradley, the printed program gave enough English translations for us to get the message conveyed by the lyrics.
The songs spoke of yuletide customs and Christmas imagery: glowing candles, shining stars, roses and thorns, the way to Paradise, pudding and jolly gnomes. The fifth song, an Icelandic lullaby was dedicated to the families in Newtown, Conn., (who lost loved ones in the mass shooting on Dec. 14), “Sleep my dear one, we shall not be awake on dark nights